REH Word of the Week: hasp

noun

  1. A metal fastener with a hinged slotted part that fits over a staple and is secured by a pin, bolt, or padlock.

[origin: Middle English, from Old English h?sp, h?pse]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

Rise to the peak of the ladder
Where the ghosts of the planets feast—
Out of the reach of the adder—
Never beyond the Beast.
He is there, in the abyss brooding,
Where the nameless black fires fall;
He is there, in the stars intruding,
Where the sun is a silver ball.

Beyond all weeping or revel,
He lurks in the cloud and the sod;
He grips the doors of the Devil
And the hasp on the gates of God.
Build and endeavor and fashion—
Never can you escape
The blind black brutish passion—
The lust of the primal Ape.

[from “Never Beyond the Beast”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 383]